Unless you’re making fresh-frozen concentrates, putting your cannabis in the freezer might not be the best idea.
When it comes to storing your cannabis, there are different options you can try out to see what maintains the flavor and scent profile the best. But not all storage methods will provide the right humidity, temperature and lighting to maintain those tastes and smells for an extended period of time.
Cannabis Storing Basics
Storing cannabis is extremely simple and easy once you know the basics. The most important thing to remember is that cannabis likes the dark and cooler temperatures after it is cured. Mildew and other molds start to thrive on cannabis if the plant matter exceeds 77º and excessive dry heat will dry out the essential oils in the plant making it dry, crumbly, and harsher to consume.
While too low of a temperature can also be dangerous for cannabis potency, a nice cool temperature between 50º and 60º in a dark place and relative humidity between 59% and 63% that blocks UV rays will be the most effective in maintaining the original potency and flavor of cannabis. So, what is the most effective way to store cannabis?
Freezing Your Cannabis
Let’s start with freezing cannabis. In short, this is not the way to go. While one may think that freezing cannabis could have its perks like slowing down the aging process or helping the buds stay firm, it is actually the opposite.
Most cannabis is “aged” for multiple days after the harvest to dry out and cure the buds, so by the time it hits the shelves it is already cured and ready to use. However, as cannabis sits, it continues to decarboxylate, which is the process that transfers THC-A into the psychoactive THC we all know and love. Lower temperatures like that of a freezer will slow down if not halt completely the decarboxylation process, leading to less potent cannabis over time.
Another downside to freezing cannabis is the fragility of the THC crystals that sit on the outside of the buds, also known as trichomes, one of the main contributors to the potency of cannabis. As temperatures drop, trichomes will freeze and fall off, decreasing potency. However, freezing cannabis can be useful for making concentrates such as ice-bubble hash or other concentrates made from frozen cannabis product.
Other Storage Methods
While it may seem obvious that storing cannabis in a plastic bag or a cardboard box is not an effective method of storage, many do so due to lack of knowledge of the effects over time. Have you ever noticed when you go to take your cannabis out of the plastic baggy it came in there’s little pieces of it sticking to the sides? That’s because plastic can hold a static charge that attracts trichomes, taking away potency every time you take it out and put it back.
The refrigerator may seem like a viable option since it is much warmer than a freezer but still cooler than 77º, but fluctuations in humidity and temperature from opening the fridge constantly can still increase chances of mold and mildew.
The most effective way to store cannabis and maintain its flavor and aroma profiles over time is to store it in an airtight container, like a glass jar. While oxygen is essential for the curing process, you want just the right amount in your storage container to keep humidity consistent without drying out the bud too quickly.
If you want to go the extra mile, pick up a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your storage container and make sure the jar you are using is vacuum sealed to reduce exposure to oxygen. Also remember to keep your cannabis in a separate container from grinders, pipes or other paraphernalia as the smell of burnt cannabis and other resins can stick to the container making it stink over time.
Overall, as long as you have a glass jar kept it in a dark place that is relatively cool, you don’t have to worry about your cannabis going bad anytime soon!